If you manage an office, you probably have about a million and one different decisions to make. One of the most controversial ones among the people in your office will be the dress standard. Chances are, you’ll have many people advocating for both sides of the argument, and it can be difficult to make a decision in the midst of all that. Before you choose one way or the other, consider the pros and cons of both in your office.
One of the biggest benefits of allowing casual dress in your workplace is the morale boost. When your employees feel more relaxed, they will enjoy their day more and be less stressed at work. By boosting the mood in your office, you also give a nice bump to your productivity level. People who are happier and more relaxed tend to work harder than those who are bored, and casual dress is one way to give that boost.
Another advantage of a more casual dress standard is comfort. This doesn’t just extend to the physical comfort your employees will be in, but will also make them more comfortable and secure in the workplace itself. If you’re in something like a henley and jeans, they’ll feel more secure approaching you with a problem than if you were in a three-piece suit and tie. This comfort and security will lower the number of complaints HR needs to deal with between employees. Communication will be much more open, and employees will be far more relaxed and comfortable around each other.
Perhaps the most common downside of allowing casual dress on a regular basis is the impression it makes on your customers. If your office doesn’t directly interact with customers, this might not be a problem for you, but for those who deal with customers on a daily basis, this could potentially affect customer satisfaction levels. If you are in casual dress, potential customers might not be able to easily distinguish between other guests and employees. If you’re worried about your customer satisfaction, casual dress might not be right for your office.
Keeping it Classy
With a more professional dress code, you have the benefit of a very uniform appearance for your employees. A set standard makes it much easier to make sure each employee looks clean, neat, and sharp every morning when they clock in to represent the company. This uniform appearance helps individual employees avoid standing out in negative ways and builds the space for them to make impressions on customers with their actions instead.
Another benefit of a business class dress code is your productivity level. While the opposite can also be true, dressing professionally can prepare your employees for the day ahead of them. If everyone in your office dresses for success, studies show that you’ll be far more likely to work to achieve it. Keeping your productivity high will improve the overall mood in the office by taking some pressure away from deadlines. Having a dress code also removes stress by eliminating the guesswork from your employee’s mornings. They don’t have to worry about finding clothes that are approved, just need to grab an outfit they know works and head out the door.
One of the major cons of requiring professional dress in your office is the possibility of resentment between you and your employees. If you have dress standards that don’t have a logical backing to them, chances are that your workers will become upset about the standards over time. Many professional dress codes don’t have rational explanations behind the requirements, leaving people uncomfortable at work all day for no real reason. You can avoid this resentment by making the dress code with your specific employees in mind or loosening up the standards a little bit.
In conclusion, neither option is right or wrong. Depending on what type of work your office does, different dress code standards will work better for you. It’s up to you to really listen to your employees and find out their needs and go from there.